Literally meaning “meeting encounter” (in the Aymara language) is a South American martial art form known as Tinku. This “traditional” form of combat is supposed to have originated from Bolivia. Furthermore, the fighters during a bout throw “rhythmic” punches at each other. In addition, this form of martial art is basically “ritualistic” in nature. Apart from it being a form of combat, it is also a dance style.

a. History/origin of Tinku:

According to the culture of Bolivia, Mother Nature locally known as “Pachamama” plays a huge role in daily life of Bolivians, and is considered to be extremely sacred. It is therefore in honour of “Pachamama” that “Tinku” a form of combat was created in this South American country. Furthermore, according to a Bolivian belief, a loss of even a little blood during a bout of “Tinku” is taken as a sacrifice.

b. Weapon used in the Tinku:

This form of combat is generally fought using the “hand”. However, the fighters may at times use rocks, slingshots, or even whips. In addition, some fighters may also wrap their hands around a cloth that comprises of shards of glass.

c. Technique involved in the Tinku and the training availability:

In terms of technique, the fighters basically stand in a crouched stance. Furthermore, they then move around in circle and “rhythmically” punch each other. As for training centres/schools, there are none available around the world since this “traditional” martial art form is mainly practiced in Bolivia.


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